Friday 23 May 2008

no talking, just looking....

Evening all. I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull last night. The original trilogy is pretty much untoucheable, I thought, so I tried not to get too excited and told myself over and over again that it wasn't art and it only needed to be fun to make it all worthwhile.... and what did I think? Well, I'm not going to say too much about it except for the fact that I think George Lucas needs to be prevented from being involved with any film ever again, especially if that film is a sequel to a much loved classic. Honestly.

I'll give you a chance to watch it and maybe post in more detail after the weekend.

Anyway. To the matter in hand. This week's Guest Editor is an old friend of this blog and a source of great wisdom. I've often thought of him as being slightly Entish in that regard, actually. Do Ents like prog rock, do you think?

Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, it is my great pleasure to present for your earworming pleasure.....

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #88 - The Eye in the Sky

11. Geoff Proudley. An Ill Wind.

At university I did a number of significant things as well as studying; one of which was meeting this fellow. He has remained one of my closest friends and is a seriously talented chap. I was recently forwarded this clip from a piece he composed and performed some years ago. The music was an important part of a BBC documentary and captures a lot of the spirit of the time. Bleak, very bleak.

10. The Puppini Sisters. Wuthering Heights

I just love this cover of Kate Bush’s seminal first single. I would have put WH on the heap of songs that just could not be covered by anyone. And here’s a complete tour de force version, which just turns the whole thing on its head. The original is there but something more has been added. Fun perhaps ? Frivolity ? I dunno I just love it. The Audacity, the cheek. Bravo Puppini’s.

9. The Puppini Sisters. Old Cape Cod

Now I got into the Puppini Sisters by a very indirect route and quite after the event. Several years ago when my wife was lecturing in Cambridge, I picked up an obscure Jazz/Big Band collection CD. On it was some original 40’s recordings which included “Blue’s in the Night” by the incomparable Dinah Shore. She’s fantastic, right up there with Billie and Ella. This lead me to investigate the music of the 1940’s. It great … go and browse. So indirectly I came up on the Andrews Sisters, which obliquely lead me to the Puppinis. I think they really can cut it. Forget all these talent show pub-singers from Saturday night TV, these ladies really can cut it musically. They have a really great website (ST – your new headgear will be right at home here …) and I have to confess I have a soft spot for Kate.

Please check out :

Dinah’s duet with Ella here.

And this really kitsch advertising spot from Dinah’s show.

This song is so mellow, and gentle. If a snuggle in a warm blanket could be set to music, this is it.

8. All About Eve. Are you Lonely

I got introduced to AAE by my mate Geoff (see above) and I love this song. I’ve been there and lived it. I see this song in my minds eye. I’m surprised its in my head at the moment because I’m really happy, and actually rather busy. Lovely guitar touches by D Gilmour Esq. To me, this has a languid, HiDef, pre-Raphaelite quality to the song and production. I hope people like this and don’t find it like an unfashionable wallpaper.

7. The Beatles. In my life

This popped into my head the other week after the funeral of a dear friend, who is very sadly missed. It’s been running ever since like a frisky hamster in a wheel. It’s still there.

Could have been worse.

The Shake and Vac jingle for example. (Caution: This is a weapons grade earworm)

6. Yes. Starship Trooper (and here too)

Hello Hippies. I’m not too sure what Jon Anderson is singing about (no change there) but I love the bass lines, and all the frills of good musicians strutting their stuff. Piles of rubbish have been written about what might constitute “Prog Rock”, but, to my mind, I feel “prog” was about trying to extend the rock repertoire (whatever that is) by using new tools and techniques, and by stretching musical dexterity of performer.

5. Moonchild. King Crimson

I love the calm feel of the opening song section, and the slightly distant presentation of the vocal. The improvisational sections take goodwill and effort to “get”, and often you can get a response ranging from “ So? ” to “No.”. Often dismissed as filler, and sometimes justified as capturing the improvisational aspects of King Crimson on stage in ’69, it endures as an earworm.

4. Mike Oldfield. Platinum.

Lovely stuff. How do I even try try to describe Platinum. Well, it’s a sort of er. It’s. How about suggesting a hybrid New Wave / Punk influenced Disco Folk track, with a Charleston embedded and a minimalist barbershop finish. You’ll probably think there’s nothing that could sound that strange, but when you consider it’s Mike Oldfield, post therapy, stretching out in New York then much is possible.

3. David Gilmour. Take a breath

One of the more readily accessible tracks from DG’s On an Island album, this has been noodling around the head for a day or two.

2. Rick Wakeman. White Rock (and here too)

Some bright spark made a film of the Innsbruck winter Olympics, in the days before home video cameras and phone cameras. It was properly edited and narrated, and a special score was composed by Rick Wakeman, and narrated by, I think, James Caan, the actor. It produced a moderately successful (among Wakeman fans) soundtrack album, and remains a defining image of music and snow action. (although the pre-title sequence from “The Spy Who Loved Me” is also pretty cool)

1. Human League. Love Action

Oh goodness. Not only has this been appearing in my head all by itself, but the mp3 player has also started to like it and it appears with a strange regularity in random /shuffle selections. It’s very danceable. And the video is a reasonable bit of 80’s nonsense. Certainly captures a moment. When thinking of the Human League, you think strange hair, the girls, but does one really consider Martin Rushent the producer ? He pulled together a cracking album from an imploded band and an explosion of ideas. Fair play Martin. Gold star for achievement.


Big thanks to the Eye in the Sky for this list - another fairly unique list, although I see that prog is again your defining influence... and nothing wrong with that. Well, nothing much. I'm very much looking forward to chewing this and other matters over when we go out for dinner in a couple of weeks time. Mmm. Music chat and prawn toast over a couple of ales. It doesn't get much better than that, eh?

Well, it's a long weekend over here, and right on cue it's started to rain. Nice one. It's C's birthday on Sunday and I'm under strict instructions to make sure I know how to make a raspberry collins as well as my usual mojitos at the cocktail party we're hosting. But who bakes the cakemakers birthday cake? Why, she does, of course... she wouldn't let anyone else do it, that's for sure.

Have a good weekend y'all.

Want to have a go as Guest Editor? Drop me an email or leave a comment below and I'll get back to you......

[Previous Guest Editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah, Le Moine Perdu, clm, Michael, Hyde, Adem, Alecya, bytheseashore, adamant, Earworms of the Year 2005, Delrico Bandito, Graham, Lithaborn, Phil, Mark II, Stef, Kaptain Kobold, bedshaped, I have ordinary addictions, TheCatGirlSpeaks, Lord B rides again, Tina, Charlie II, Cody Bones, Poll Star, Jenni II, Martin, Del II, The Eye in the Sky, RussL, Lizzy's Hoax, Ben II, Earworms of the Year 2006, Sarah, Flash II, Erika, Hen, Pynchon, Troubled Diva, Graham II, Cat II, Statue John II, Sweeping the Nation, Aravis II, Olympian II, C, Planet-Me, Mike, Michael II, Eye in the Sky II, Charlie III, The Great Grape Ape, asta, Ben III, Earworms of the Year 2007, Cat III, JamieS & Wombat, Pynchon II, Briskate, Craig Cliff, Fiery Little Sod, Cody II, J, Yoko II, Rol, Lisa, Pollstar II, Joe the Troll]


  1. I must admit I am beyond indifference with regard to the new Indy film. I will not be bothering to see it on the big screen. I will wait for May Day Bank Holiday 2010. Strange, because I really loved the first one.

    Are you still looking for volunteers for the Earworms slot? 'Jerry' hasn't had a go yet.

  2. I can easily see how Moonchild could become an earworm. The simple, lilting melody it has during the verses is a contagious one.